Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. Matthew 25:1-13 In some ways this sounds like the beginning of a joke. However, by the time you finish hearing the parable you know that it’s anything but. All ten of those bridesmaids knew that the bridegroom was coming. Yet, even today the reality of the parable is that when the time comes, some will not be prepared. I’m reminded of the time my mother told me to always have on clean underwear just in case I got hit by a car – or something! Although mom’s instruction was good enough for me, it really hit home years later when I was on call as a chaplain in a trauma unit. A young woman was brought in after being in a car accident. When the nurse cut off her clothes revealing her underwear, those of us who could see, all had the same look on our faces. My guess is we were all thinking of our mother’s warning. Prayerfully and thankfully the woman would fully recover from her injuries. I realized that although I don’t live expecting to be hit by a car, without thought, I daily heed my mother’s instruction. As believers, how much more so should we heed God’s instruction to be wisely prepared, as we live with the expectation of the coming Messiah? Keep Awake – because at that expected hour there won’t be an opportunity to recover!